In the Courts: Failure to Timely Report, Investigate Abuse Allegations

November 18, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) has affirmed an administrative law judge (ALJ) decision finding that a skilled nursing facility failed to comply with requirements prohibiting abuse and requiring facilities to investigate and report allegations of abuse. In so ruling, DAB has upheld civil monetary penalties against the facility.

DAB reviewed allegations of abuse involving three residents. Two nursing assistants were arguing with each other while helping one resident to shower. One of the assistants cursed loudly at the resident during the shower, and later that night, the same nursing assistant treated him roughly while turning him, to the point that he nearly rolled off the bed. Staff reported the alleged abuse to a supervisor the same day, but the supervisor did not immediately report or investigate the matter. DAB upheld the ALJ's findings that staff abused the resident and...

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